I began my journey with OCA over 3 years ago and to date havesuccessully completed Textiles 1: A Creative Approach, Textiles2 and Textiles 3: Advanced. I am currently studying Textiles 1:Exploring Ideas, the most recent addition to the OCA Textilesportolio.I chose the OCA over a City and Guilds course or 2 main reasons,rstly the OCA oered the chance to obtain a degree by distancelearning. The second reason or choosing the OCA was thebreadth o the course content which has allowed me to learn newtechniques and step outside my comort zone. My main interest hasbeen, and always will be, embroidery, but being able to combinethis with so many other techniques including appliqué, trappingand layering, and weaving and tapestry techniques, which haveset me o in a newdirection altogether. The
Textiles 3: Advanced
coursegave me completereedom to choosemy own project. Forthis I returned to my passion or Aricantextiles. I investigatedtraditionaltechniques andpatterns and includedmany o them intoa collection o sot urnishings includingcushions, throws and wall-hangings. During the project I recordedthe time taken to develop the pieces and costs involved. Thiswas the most exciting project I have undertaking to date and yet it really made me think about the viability o selling my workcommercially.Distance learningsuits me as I am ableto t in the study around my busy ull-time teaching job,there is sucient fexibility to t around busy timesand yet I can workin a sustained way during college breaks. This requires some very careul planning to accommodate theprojects and I have negotiated with my tutor to do the projectsin a dierent order to t in with my busy career as well as theweather! Indigo dyeing indoors is not a good idea. The downside to distance learning is the isolation, lack o specialist equipment and reliance on detailed eedback rom tutors tomaintain a sustained period o study. However I have ound that with a supportive tutor, a little expenditure on equipment andmaterials and regular contact with other students through theOCA orums and workshops the distance learning courses providedby the OCA are a way o launching yoursel onto an incredible journey o sel-discovery,artistic development andcreativity. I am lookingorward to continuing my studies with the OCA ormany years to come, not only am I aiming to obtaina BA degree in Creative Arts or Textiles, but alsowill consider postgraduatestudies with the OCA inthe uture.
Student: Sarah Dodds
A personal journey
“The courses provided by theOCA are a way of launching yourself onto an incredible journey of self-discovery,artistic development and creativity. “